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Jul 16, 2013

Combating Global Poverty with a Cup of Coffee

Fair-trade coffee sells at a higher price and helps the farmer—a small landowner—receive more profit for his product. Unfortunately, fair-trade products do nothing to help impoverished migrant workers. Is there a better way to help the poorest of the poor? Prof. Colleen Haight has researched fair-trade coffee for over 10 years and has visited several Central American coffee farms. She suggests that while fair trade has done much to increase consumer awareness, it is not the best way to help the poor. Instead, she recommends buying premium coffees. As premium coffee beans fetch higher prices in the market, migrant workers who work on premium coffee farms earn higher pay.